Herman Grooten explains: How to design a concept in the opening

by ChessBase
10/25/2020 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In his new ChessBase show that will appear two or three times per month he will regularly tackle topics that are of great value for the practical player. In the first episode of his show Herman presents a game by the English GM Julian Hodgson and explains "How to design a concept in the opening". | Photo: Hans Hoornstra

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How to design a concept in the opening

Many club players struggle to study openings. In these modern times there is certainly an incredible amount of material available, both in book form and digitally, but despite this wealth of information it is still not easy to get an idea of ​​how an opening works. But strong players still come up with new moves and these moves are based on certain ideas and concepts.

However, in old times, when theory was not that advanced as it is nowadays, it was easier to come up with a plan of your own. In the game Hodgson-Barlov, 1985, the English player came up with a beautiful and creative concept, with which he emerged victorious from the opening which then led to a full-blown king's attack.

In the diagram position, that arose after 1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5 3.Sc3 dxe4 4.Sxe4 e6 5.Sf3 Sc6 6.b3 Sf6, the question is what White should do about his knight on e4. Trade on f6? Defend it with 7.d3, 7.Qe2 or 7.Bd3? Or retreat the knight, but where to? 


In the show Herman explains the concept Hodgson came up with and how this led to a brilliant attack.

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